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Security guard dies of rabies

CEBU, Philippines - A security guard in Barangay Mabolo is the first casualty of rabies in Cebu City this year, although it was learned that the victim was bitten by a rabid dog last year yet and refused to get treated for rabies.

“Advice namo sa mga napaakan og dog nga kon na-diagnose ang iro nga positive sa rabies kinahanglan nga magpabakuna g’yud dayon,” said Cebu City veterinarian Alice Utlang.

The fatality was bitten by his own  pet dog and just ignored the advice of neighbors to immediately seek the help of the Animal Rabies Control section of the City Health Department.

Dr. Pilar Romero, assistant head of the Department of Veterinary Medicines and Fisheries said there were 12 rabies cases among dogs last year.

Barangays Basak-Pardo, Apas, Sambag 1, Hipodromo, Pasil, Guadalupe, Sambag 2, Mabolo, Sudlon II, Punta Princesa reported one case each while two were reported in Barangay Bulacao.

There were 2,405 dogs registered with the DVMF last year, a little higher compared to only 1,841 in 2011.  Romero said there were 4,005 dogs registered in 2008 then it rose to 5,261 the following year and 5,454 in 2010.

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The records showed that there were only three human rabies cases reported since 2009.

Meanwhile, the animal rabies cases decreased from 20 in 2008, down to nine the following year, down to seven in 2010, and back up to 15 rabies cases in 2011.

Utlang said her office personnel will intensify the information campaign about rabies because March is declared as the Rabies Awareness Month.

Utlang said her personnel will start scouring the different barangays of the city to compel dog owners to have their pets registered and vaccinated against rabies.

The DVMF personnel will ask household owners if they have dogs and ask if they have the registration papers for their pets.

If the owners do not have the required registration documents of their dogs, the City Hall personnel will issue them citations for violating Republic Act 9482, or the Act for the Control and Elimination of Human and Animal Rabies.

The law strictly requires dog owners to register and have their dogs vaccinated, otherwise they will be fined P2,000 for every violation.  –/BRP (FREEMAN)

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